Oasi Architects’ FGN House is an exercise in concrete subtlety
The sleepy village of Fagnano Olona in Italy – also home to an Aldo Rossi-designed elementary school – has just welcomed a new piece of modern architecture; a new-build house by Busto Arsizio-based architects Oasi. The structure, a home for a local family, is a clear departure from the area’s more conventional housing and an exercise in subtle concrete architecture.
Named FGN House, the building is composed of three simple volumes which interlock in different ways, creating a variety of spaces, both inside and out. The structure sits on the grounds of an old fruit orchard. Its layout is simple; a generous main ground level houses the open plan living, dining and kitchen areas. Three family bedrooms are also placed on this floor. A carefully crafted concrete and timber staircase leads up to a rooftop pavilion that contains a study. This pavilion elegantly punches through the accessible roof terrace which provides extra outside space for the family and offers views across the surrounding roofscape.
The structure, named FGN House, is the home of a young local family. Photography: Laura Cavelli
The ground level remains in constant dialogue with the outdoors, through large openings that look out towards the garden and the different courtyards formed by the concrete formations – there’s a main entrance patio and a further two terraces in different parts of the house.
The architects worked with concrete as their main material of choice, adding wooden details where needed, creating a sense of clean, sharp minimalism and gentle refinement. In fact, the material was a key driver for the whole architectural design solution.
‘The main challenge was to respect the relatively low budget, without holding back in terms of creativity, smartness and innovative solutions, as far as generosity of space and the overall architecture were concerned’, explains Oasis co-founder Pietro Ferrario. ‘The project was initially orientated towards a wooden construction but that turned out too expensive, so we looked at other possible solutions with lower costs. In the end concrete was the best and right option. The structure is powered by the material and its shape supports an organised and coherent subdivision of the interiors. At the same time, it generates a relationship between solids and voids that creates attractive living spaces, both inside and out.’ §